Dine-in Movies Are Perfect for My Oxygen Needs

Dine-in Movies Are Perfect for My Oxygen Needs

Just breathe, passionate help for the PF journey

As a PF patient, I love many hobbies that I can no longer do. I miss the normal activities of life that are now too cumbersome or simply wear me out. One of the pastimes I can still enjoy is going to the movies. This is something I have loved to do since childhood, and am so happy I can still go.

After being prescribed supplemental oxygen, I was able to go to any theater with my portable oxygen concentrator (POC). Although it makes a little noise, it wasn’t a distraction once the movie started. When I worsened and required more oxygen than my POC could provide, I switched to liquid oxygen, because the portable units will dispense up to 15 liters per minute (lpm).

I currently use 8 lpm when sitting and 10 lpm when walking (slowly). This high level of oxygen requires that I bring three portable units to the movies, which is quite cumbersome in a regular theater. The problem is there simply isn’t room to fit the tanks under the seats (they have to remain upright). This is also true if you are a patient who uses gas cylinders.

(Photo by Kim Fredrickson)

About a year ago, a Studio Movie Grill opened up about 5 miles away from my home. It is a theater that combines first-run movies with in-theater dining. Waiters come and take your order for food and beverages (including a full-service bar), and deliver them to you during the movie.

While it is fun to be able to order lunch, dinner, or a snack, the best part is that it has lots of room around the seats, including plenty of room for my portable oxygen units. My hubby and I usually go to the first showing of a movie, usually around 11 a.m. because the theater is freshly cleaned. We usually share lunch and get water, so it’s not a big expense. There is no requirement to order anything at all.

When you buy your tickets online, you can pick out your seats ahead of time, so there is no mad rush to get a seat. There is plenty of room, no matter which seat you choose, and they have plenty of disabled seating if you have a wheelchair. Some theaters even have an elevator if you want to sit in the back, high up. Just ask if this is possible; it’s a real blessing as a patient.

(Courtesy of Kim Fredrickson)

There are other dine-in movie theaters besides Studio Move Grill. If you’re interested to see if one is located near you, do an internet search and enter “dine-in theaters,” then the name of the area you live in.

I really enjoy going to the movies with my husband, friends, and family. It is one of the few “normal” activities I can still do. Everyone knows how much I enjoy going, so I got a lot of gift cards for Christmas and my birthday. I’m having fun using them. As a PF patient, it is meaningful to embrace activities I still enjoy.

I’d love to hear from you. What type of activities do you enjoy? Do you have a dine-in theater near you?

Please leave a comment below, and share with those who could benefit via email or on social media. We’re in this together!


Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.

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  1. Jim W says:

    Kim, no one has helped me cope with IPF and oxygen more than you have with your articles and videos. I hope you can keep on helping us for a long time. My heartfelt thanks to you.

    My oxygen need is also beyond the five liter output of my POC but I continue to use it in the car. Sitting and driving I am fine on five liters and as the POC recharges in the car I will never run out. Then when I get out of the car and move around, I take the bottle of O2 where the continuous flow regulator goes beyond five. This allows me to get more use out of the (expensive) POC and the bottles last longer.

    • Hi Jim, Thanks so much for your encouragement. I am SO HAPPY that my columns have helped you cope with PF. That makes me so delighted. I love your system to use the POC and bottles of O2 to make the most out of both. Brilliant!

  2. Joyce Douglas says:

    Hi Kim. What a unique idea. Dine in and a movie. I don’t believe that Manitoba has this service, but will check it out in Winnipeg. We can use a service like this though. There is always the possibility of obtaining DVDs and watching at home which is what we do now. Not the same at all. I’ll definitely ask at the next IPF group meeting if anyone has had this fun experience. Thank you for your inputs. They are great.

  3. Don S says:

    Hi Kim. I have pulmonary fibrosis and am also at 10l while walking. What level are you trying to maintain on your meter while you are sitting?

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